Let God pave the way
Thomas Bonham is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
I was returning from San Antonio recently, cruising on down the road, listening to the oldies, scoping out the landscape as it whizzed past, with all the changes brought on by the oil boom influx of new residences, when in happenstance, what should start playing on the radio but “Big Yellow Taxi” (They Paved Paradise). The song is from 1970 written by Joni Mitchell after taking in the breathtaking view of the mountainous Hawaiian skyline from her hotel room, then looking down to the ground where she saw nothing but buildings and parking lots.
Several groups have recorded the song and some have twisted the lyrics a little, but the message has remained the same. “... Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone; they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” The big yellow taxi, of course, is the scene of the big break-up and the boy or girl is leaving in the taxi. “... You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” The group, “Counting Crows,” early “Earth Day” environmentalists, added a verse to the song when they recorded it, to fit their agenda, “... They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum; and they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them; don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone; they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”
We’re in a place in history where mankind has lost a lot of things and I think we’re all seeking to find it again.
A man went to a fast-food restaurant and saw on the menu that you could have an order of six, nine, or 12 chicken nuggets. He ordered a half a dozen nuggets. “We don’t have half a dozen nuggets,” said the teen behind the counter. “You don’t?” questioned the man in astonishment. “We only have six, nine, or 12, sir,” was the reply. “So, I can’t order a half a dozen, but I can order six?” “That’s right, sir.” He shook his head in disbelief and ordered six nuggets. Clearly, something’s been lost here.
A lady was checking out at a local retail store with just a few items, and the lady behind her began placing her many purchases on the conveyor belt close to hers. She picked up one of those square tube “customer dividers” and placed it on the belt. When the checkout girl got to the divider, she looked it over for the bar code so she could scan it. “Do you know how much this is?” asked the clerk. The lady said she changed her mind about purchasing that item anyway. The clerk said, “OK.” The lady paid her and left. The clerk had no clue what just happened. Clearly, something’s been lost here.
[Romans 1:18-32] (v.28) “... Since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.” Our Creator is not a puppeteer. Each and every one of us has the right to live as we see fit, but that does not please God in the least. As mankind continues to press his will upon the world, he is literally paving over the will of God for man, building a parking lot for all his toys and boasting, “Look at all my stuff, all the things I have made.” Earthly treasures are here today and gone tomorrow (Matthew 6:19-24). Me-ism and worry is not trusting in God (Matthew 6:25-34). Because mankind is not retaining the knowledge of God or practicing the wisdom of God, clearly, something’s been lost.
In the Greek, paradise is a place of blessedness. The church is blessed of God and man’s rules and regulations are slowly turning it into a parking lot. You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. God has paved the way to healthy righteous living.
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.